The access control market provides endless opportunities for smart card applications, although it is still considered an expensive option and less user friendly compared to some of the available authentication methods. In the next few years, a fall in prices and increased interoperability of smart card-based access control system expect to make access control more attractive in the corporate security sector.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (smartcards.frost.com), World Corporate Security (Physical and Logical Access) Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $120.4 million in 2006 and estimates this to reach $235.0 million in 2012.
If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides manufacturers, end users, and other industry participants with an overview of the World Corporate Security Smart Card (Physical and Logical Access) Market, then send an email to Mireya Castilla, Corporate Communications, at mireya.castilla[.]frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, city, state, country and email address. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be sent to you by email.
In the next four to five years, private sector companies with a focus on security and multi-applications are likely to move toward smart card-based access control systems, which is able to converge several functions on one card and while offering sophisticated authentication methods.
Smart cards in access control are increasingly used in leisure and entertainment facilities and educational or research institutions. In fact, some developing countries leap straight to this technology, giving the older magnetic stripe cards the miss.
"Low-cost contactless options have seen increased uptake in large-scale events all over the world, particularly in the U.S., Europe and Asia," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Michelle Foong. "These include sporting events, major conferences, live performances, as well as other events where crowd control and security are key considerations."
While the benefits of access technologies are unquestionable, many small- and medium-sized enterprises are unable to justify an infrastructure that supports a smart card platform for access control. With the availability of cheaper alternatives, many setups are content with their existing system and do not wish to migrate to smart cards. Even within bigger companies, the migration from legacy systems will take a few more years, unless there is a strong business case to support the move.
Barriers to migration are even higher in logical access control, where smart cards do not plug and play into PCs and networks as easily as other options such as universal serial bus (USB) and one-time passwords.
Positive spillover effects of government mandates, initiatives and increased mobility of workers are resulting in a greater need for securing access to corporate resources. Various government initiatives such as the U.S. Common Access Card (CAC), and Civil Service Card in Singapore and Indonesia raise awareness and educate the market about the benefits of secure and scalable systems such as smart cards.
"In countries where government agencies actively use smart cards for door access, there has been a marked increase in private sector adoption of smart cards in access control," notes Foong. "Over time, the drop in prices and the move to more open and standardized platforms will encourage more applications in the private sector."
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